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Hans Zimmer Steps In To Pen ‘Lone Ranger’ Score

By | Friday December 14, 2012 @ 12:08pm PST

Rocker Jack White was originally the frontrunner to compose the score for Disney’s The Lone Ranger, but scheduling conflicts arose after budget concerns temporarily pulled the plug on the Jerry Bruckheimer Films pic starring Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp and directed by Gore Verbinski. Production finally started in February, and the tentpole’s release date eventually was moved to July 3, 2013. White will still contribute music to the production, we’re told. Hans Zimmer‘s name first appeared in conjunction with the movie when his name appeared in the latest trailer that bowed this week. Zimmer has worked with this bunch before: He did the music for Disney, Bruckheimer, Depp and Verbinski’s Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise.

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Hot Trailer: ‘The Lone Ranger’

By | Tuesday December 11, 2012 @ 1:39am PST

This trailer for Disney‘s The Lone Ranger clocks in a minute longer than the first one that was released in October. There’s more backstory and more interaction here between Johnny Depp’s Tonto and Armie Hammer’s masked man. Silver also gets extra screen time. Directed by Gore Verbinski and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, the movie began production in February after months of budget drama. The studio had pulled the plug altogether in August last year before reviving it after Bruckheimer and Verbinski were able to get the budget down into the $215M range. Release is set for July 3, 2013.

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Hot Trailer: ‘The Lone Ranger’

By | Wednesday October 3, 2012 @ 7:05am PDT

Here’s the first official trailer for Disney’s $215M-budget The Lone Ranger starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski began production February 13 after months of off-again on-again drama over the project’s cost; the studio had pulled the plug altogether in August before reviving it after Bruckheimer and Verbinski were able to get the budget down. The movie is set for a July 3, 2013 release:

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Tragedy On ‘The Lone Ranger’ As Crew Member Dies

By | Friday September 21, 2012 @ 1:02pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Disney Lone Ranger DeathBREAKING…: A member of the crew on Disney‘s The Lone Ranger died early this morning in Los Angeles, where he was involved in setting up for an underwater scene. It’s unclear if the crew member — I’m told he was not a stuntman, and that the death did not occur during shooting — drowned or had a heart attack. Lone Ranger is being directed by Gore Verbinski and stars Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer. Disney would not release the identity of the man, and Deadline will report more information as we confirm it. The studio released this statement:

“We regretfully confirm that a Lone Ranger crew member has passed away after being taken to a local hospital.  Our hearts and thoughts are with his family, friends, and colleagues at this time, and our full support is behind the investigation into the circumstances of this terrible event.”

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Comic-Con: Disney Unveils ‘Oz The Great And Powerful’, ‘The Lone Ranger’, And More

Luke Y. Thompson is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of Comic-Con.

The Disney panel at Comic-Con offered the first trailers for Sam Raimi’s Oz The Great And Powerful and Gore Verbinski’s The Lone Ranger. Raimi’s Oz impressed and revealed plot details. New trailer for Burton’s Frankenweenie looks pretty much as expected amd Wreck-It Ralph shows 10 minutes of videogame crossover fun.

Nerdist’s Chris Hardwick introduced the latest Frankenweenie trailer in 3D (the one that’s been everywhere online, but its mix of retro-Universal monster-style narration and black-and-white stop motion looked great on the big screen). When Tim Burton, who was on hand, was asked what informs his sense of comedy, he replied “Growing up in Burbank.” Here’s the Frankenweenie trailer:

There was also a funny clip was shown in which a foreign-accented, Vincent Price-like science teacher becomes, shall we say, excessively enthusiastic about describing the science behind a man being struck by lightning. This leads to all the kids in the classroom speculating about why the town is cursed with so much lightning: is it the creepy windmill? The souls of dead miners? Funny stuff, and stays securely in the ’50s B mold.

The second clip included a very cool 3D moment of stop-motion fish in a giant tank, as the Igor-like kid blackmails Victor into trying to revive a dead fish for him. They succeed, but it turns out to be invisible except for the skeleton. Igor promises not to … Read More »

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CAA Signs ‘Lone Ranger’ Lead Ruth Wilson

By | Wednesday April 11, 2012 @ 9:34am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Actress Ruth Wilson signed with CAA. The signing was competitive for the British actress who is playing the female lead in the Gore Verbinski-directed The Lone Ranger, opposite Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. Wilson, who showed edge playing the murderess and confidante of Idris Elba’s detective character in the British series Luther, will next be seen in the Joe Wright-directed Anna Karenina. She’ll find out this Sunday if she is to win an Olivier Award for Best Actress for playing Anna in the West End production of the Rob Ashford-directed Anna Christie. Wilson continues to be managed by Untitled Entertainment and repped in the UK by Troika Talent.

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First Look At Johnny Depp And Armie Hammer In ‘The Lone Ranger’: Photo

By | Thursday March 8, 2012 @ 8:03am PST

Johnny Depp The Lone Ranger
Jerry Bruckheimer tweeted this photo this morning of Johnny Depp as Tonto and Armie Hammer as the masked man, along with the intro “Tonto and The Lone Ranger Ride Again!” Disney’s Gore Verbinski-directed The Lone Ranger began production February 13 after months of off-again on-again drama over the project’s budget; the studio had pulled the plug altogether in August before reviving it after Bruckheimer and Verbinski were able to get the budget down into the $215 million range. The movie is set for a May 31, 2013 release.

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William Fichtner To Replace Dwight Yoakam In ‘Lone Ranger’

By | Wednesday February 22, 2012 @ 4:06pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Disney has tapped William Fichtner to replace Dwight Yoakam in The Lone Ranger. He will play the bad guy that Yoakam was set to take on before the actor-singer dropped out Friday because of a scheduling conflict. Now Fichtner is in. He just completed filming Elysuim for Sony and MRC with Matt Damon and Jodie Foster, as well as Phantom opposite Ed Harris and David Duchovny. Fichtner, repped by Paradigm and Intellectual Artist Management, will make his directing debut with the indie Coldbrook after wrapping Lone Ranger.

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Dwight Yoakam Bows Out Of ‘The Lone Ranger’

By | Friday February 17, 2012 @ 10:31am PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Even though Disney scrapped a fall start date for The Lone Ranger, and then green lit the film for a mid-February start date once director Gore Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer brought a $250 million + budget down to around $215 million, the cast around Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer remained pretty much intact. But now the picture has lost one of its major bad guys. Dwight Yoakam has dropped out of the picture, and insiders attribute it to a scheduling conflict.

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James Badge Dale Saddling Up To Play Lone Ranger’s Brother?

By | Wednesday January 11, 2012 @ 5:02pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: James Badge Dale is frontrunner to join The Lone Ranger, playing the older brother of the title character (played by Armie Hammer). Dan Reid is an ex-ranger and hero of the Old West. Disney puts the film into production next month, with Gore Verbinski directing Johnny Depp, Hammer, Ruth Wilson, Tom Wilkinson, Barry Pepper, Helena Bonham Carter, and Dwight Yoakum. Jerry Bruckheimer is producing.

Dale, who co-starred in Shame, next opens in the Joe Carnahan-directed The Grey, and wrapped the Marc Forster-directed World War Z and the Robert Zemeckis-directed Flight. The Lone Ranger job will knock Dale out of the short list to play John McClane Jr. in A Good Day to Die Hard. I’ve heard that Fox will widen the search for that character in the John Moore-directed film. Dale is repped by CAA.

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‘Arthur & Lancelot’ In Warner Bros Budget Crisis: Projected $130M Cost Too High

Mike Fleming

STUNNER! Legendary Pictures Postpones January Start Of ‘Paradise Lost’

EXCLUSIVE: Legendary Pictures’ Paradise Lost isn’t the only film being readied on the Warner Bros lot to face a budget crisis. Arthur & Lancelot, the David Dobkin script that Warner Bros paid $2 million to acquire last summer, won’t get made unless the budget drops dramatically. I’m told that even though Warner Bros dated the film for a March 15, 2013 release and cast Game of Thrones’ Kit Harington to play Arthur and The Killing‘s Joel Kinnaman to play Lancelot, the back and forth on budget has gotten to the point that the studio has invited Dobkin to set the picture up elsewhere if he can. I’ve heard that what started as a $90 million (other sources said Warners would make it for $110 million) contemporary style re-imagining of the Sword And The Stone tale has a budget the studio fears could reach $130 million. The studio feels that is just too much for a movie with two unproven leads. After the year’s wild box office swings and last weekend’s paltry performance, who can blame Warner Bros for being cautious?

It is obviously a Warner Bros goal to tell the story of Arthur, Lancelot and the Knights of the Roundtable, because the Dobkin spec supplanted two others that the studio had in development. The studio is keen to see through Dobkin’s version of the film (the spec deal allowed Dobkin … Read More »

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Disney Pushes ‘The Lone Ranger’ Start To February 13

By | Wednesday October 19, 2011 @ 1:35pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Disney is taking another week of prep time before getting underway on The Lone Ranger. Production will begin on February 13. The Gore Verbinski-directed Johnny Depp-starrer has been locked for a May 31, 2013 release. When the film came back online, it was going to start February 6. The Lone Ranger was originally supposed to get underway this fall for a December 21, 2012 release, but all that changed when Disney shocked Hollywood by unplugging the film over fears that its budget could reach $275 million. It came back around with a budget closer to $215 million.

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Disney Shuffles Calendar To Fit ‘The Lone Ranger’ Into May 31, 2013 Release Slot

Mike Fleming

BREAKING: Disney has confirmed that the Gore Verbinski-directed Johnny Depp-starrer The Lone Ranger has come back on track, with the studio setting the film for a May 31, 2013 release. As Deadline revealed yesterday, the film will begin production February 6. The film was originally supposed to get underway this fall for a December 21, 2012 release, but all that changed when Disney shocked Hollywood by unplugging the film over fears that its budget could reach $275 million. Deadline revealed that news exclusively on August 12. It was a surprising move, considering that Bruckheimer is a cornerstone producer and Depp has starred in the studio’s highest-grossing films, with both of them teaming with Verbinski on the first three installments of The Pirates Of The Caribbean.

Verbinski, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Depp rose to the challenge, though, even though it was a painful one. They reworked their compensation deals and figured out ways to save money in the production budget. They brought the budget down to a figure that is around $215 million, I’m told. Taking responsibility to bring the film in for that price was the only way that the studio was going to make the film. Considering that most Westerns don’t travel overseas as well as some other genres (Cowboys & Aliens has proven to be an offshore disappointment), The Lone Ranger is still a big bet by a studio that is backing John Carter, a film that costs more than $250 million, and Oz The Great And Powerful, which hovers at around $200 million. At least now, Disney’s risk on The Lone Ranger has been contained. Read More »

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‘The Lone Ranger’ Sets February 6 Start Date; Giddyap!

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE UPDATE: I’m hearing that Disney has set The Lone Ranger to start production February 6, 2012. That re-establishes one of the most intriguing examples of a star-driven film that was unplugged because of high budget and put back together in a way that gives the studio a chance to recoup its costs. Though The Lone Ranger has arguably the world’s most bankable movie star in Johnny Depp, it also is a Western, which (as evidenced by the lackluster performance of Cowboys & Aliens), doesn’t as a genre do strong business overseas. I expect this to be formalized by tomorrow.

EARLIER EXCLUSIVE, October 11, 4:38 PM: Well, it took a week longer than I thought it would, but Disney has finally reached a meeting of the minds on The Lone Ranger with director Gore Verbinski, Johnny Depp and producer Jerry Bruckheimer. The studio is expected to formalize a new start date imminently and announce it is moving forward and putting Depp back in the saddle as Tonto, with Armie Hammer as the title character. It looked like the studio was going to announce last week when the picture brightened for the film, but it will be this week’s business instead. I don’t think Disney was able to salvage its December 21 release date because production won’t start in New Mexico until early next year.

The original plan was to begin shooting this fall. That was until, as Deadline revealed on August 12, the studio shockingly pulled the plug on a project it feared could come in at between $250 million-$275 million. The risk of such a figure on a Western became more glaring after Cowboys & Aliens had just turned in a severely disappointing domestic gross, to be followed by an even worse offshore performance, proving the adage that most Westerns don’t travel well. Cowboys & Aliens will be a costly money-loser, 50% shouldered by DreamWorks and the other half split between Universal and Relativity Media. On Lone Ranger, there has been a lot of behind-the-scenes drama as the three principal players made concessions in their deals, and worked on the script to salvage the spectacle that made the movie worth making in the first place while bringing the budget down to a more manageable figure in the $215 million range. Read More »

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Disney Eyes Early 2012 Start For ‘Lone Ranger’; Announcement Expected Next Week

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Deadline told you a week ago that things were looking up for The Lone Ranger for the first time since we broke the shocking news on Aug. 12 that Disney had pulled the plug over budget. I’m hearing that the studio is likely to have everything resolved by next week, and can start rehiring crew so that the picture will be ready to begin production in January or February. How that late start impacts the Dec. 21, 2012 release date remains to be seen, but Johnny Depp will get to play Tonto (Disney wouldn’t make the movie without him), and Armie Hammer will be back in as the title character. Ruth Wilson, the scene-stealing killer from Idris Elba’s British cop series Luther, is also expected back as the female lead.

Disney has gotten to this point after a painful overhaul of the movie by producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski to bring to $215 million a budget the studio feared could reach $250 or more. Verbinski’s struggle has been to reach that number while retaining enough of the spectacle that made them say yes in the first place. The cutting process has included the reworking of deals for Depp, Verbinski and Bruckheimer, and trimming the production budget and the long shoot. That would enable Depp, Gore and Bruckheimer to re-team after making the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films together. The Lone Ranger is one of several huge-budget films that Disney’s Rich Ross and Sean Bailey are managing. The others include John Carter, the Andrew Stanton-directed adaptation of John Carter of Mars with Friday Night Lights‘ Taylor Kitsch in the lead role, which has a budget around $250 million; and The Great and Powerful Oz, the Sam Raimi-directed James Franco-starrer, which is hovering around $200 million. Read More »

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Will ‘The Lone Ranger’ Ride? Guarded Optimism Disney Film Is Alive Again

By | Friday September 16, 2011 @ 4:54pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: For the first time since Deadline broke the shocking news that Disney had pulled the plug because of a huge budget on the Gore Verbinski-directed The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer, insiders tell me that things are starting to look up for the film and there is now optimism that the picture might actually get made. Back on August 12, Disney derailed a film that had a December 21, 2012, release date because the budget had gone to the stratosphere. Insiders feared the film could cost $275 million, though my sources at that time said the filmmakers had already taken $10 million out and got it to $232 million. No matter which of those numbers you embrace, that’s a lot of dough for a Western, and it’s probably not coincidence this standoff happened after the mega-budget Cowboys & Aliens tanked, and proved to be one of the summer’s biggest debacles.

Disney pulled the plug and initially demanded the film be brought down to $200 million; producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Verbinski have been trying for a number closer to $215 million. Deadline has reported Depp won’t make the movie without Verbinski, his director on the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films and Rango, so it is an all or nothing proposition because this film would never get made without the world’s most bankable male star. Verbinski’s … Read More »

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DISNEY DILEMMA: Johnny Depp Won’t Make ‘Lone Ranger’ Without Gore: Verbinski & Bruckheimer Bring Lower Budget To Studio

EXCLUSIVE: This is the kind of Maalox moment that explains why studio moguls get paid the big bucks. Because Walt Disney Studios Chairman Rich Ross now has a very public decision to make about whether to go forward with The Lone Ranger. We’ve learned that producer Jerry Bruckheimer and attached director Gore Verbinski are jointly presenting a new budget “in the $215M range” to Ross after weeks of trimming it from the previously proposed $275M which caused Disney to balk and halt production. That’s still not the $200M number that the studio really wanted, but is lower than the $220M at which Disney indicated to all concerned it might compromise. Now here’s the other complicating factor: Insiders tell us that Johnny Depp, who’s attached to play Tonto, really wants to make The Lone Ranger but won’t do it without Verbinski directing. Depp has shown unusual loyalty to his favorite helmers like Tim Burton and made not just 3 successful Pirates of the Caribbean pics with Gore but also starred in Verbinski’s Rango, which is an Oscar frontrunner for Best Animated Picture this year. And Depp right now is the biggest box office star in the world with two recent billion-dollar worldwide hits (Alice in Wonderland and Pirates of the Caribbean 4). That leaves Disney no choice but to keep on Verbinski if the studio wants to retain Depp – which of course it does. Disney is counting on Depp … Read More »

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Disney’s Rich Ross Hopes For ‘Lone Ranger’, But Is His Gore Verbinski Omission Telling?

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: In an exclusive to Deadline’s Pete Hammond during Disney’s D23 Expo, Rich Ross made his first comment on The Lone Ranger since I revealed the film had been halted for budgetary reasons. “I’m hoping to do it. I’m certainly hoping. I think it’s a compelling story and no one wants to work with Jerry and Johnny more than me, so we’ll see how it works.” The surprise is that Ross mentioned Johnny Depp and producer Jerry Bruckheimer but not the film’s director Gore Verbinski. Would Disney be happier making The Lone Ranger without him?   

The rumblings I’ve heard since my first story on the stoppage are as follows: Verbinski and Bruckheimer have been working hard to tone down or lose some of the budget-busting spectacular scenes in Justin Haythe’s script. At the same time, Bruckheimer as well as reps for Depp and Verbinski have been discussing ways to defer big chunks of their upfront paydays. Salary among all three likely accounts for $30 million or more. And if the trio’s backend deals weren’t at cash break before, they likely will be now if the film moves forward. Because simply adjusting above-the-line salaries isn’t enough to bring down what insiders told Deadline nine days ago was a $75 million budget gap to get to the $200 million Disney wants to spend on the Western. I’ve heard since that the studio will agree to make The Lone Ranger at $215 million. One major question is whether Verbinski can deliver at that number and retain enough spectacle “wow” factor to give The Lone Ranger a shot at a big overseas gross and sequels.

If Ross’s comments indicate that Disney would be open to making The Lone Ranger with another director, that is taking a big risk with Depp. Outside of Tim Burton, no director has made as many movies with Depp as Verbinski, with three Pirates of the Caribbean films and Rango. Would Depp continue in the movie if Verbinski was moved aside or quit? Good question. The Lone Ranger is a giant risk in the first place because Westerns don’t traditionally perform well overseas. In a DVD-collapsed world, a $275 million film is back to grossing three times its budget to earn out, and that can’t be done without a big overseas reward. Without Depp — arguably the biggest star in the world right now with three of the all-time Top 10 worldwide grossing films — there is no Lone Ranger. Read More »

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Who Needs Comic-Con? Disney Reveals All At D23 Expo

Pete Hammond

Disney Announces Two New Pixar Films
Who needs Comic-Con when you can do it yourself?

That must be exactly what Disney is thinking as it continues its massive second annual Disney D23/ Expo, the “ultimate fan event” taking place all weekend long at the Anaheim Convention Center right next to Disneyland (the name refers to 1923, the year Walt Disney started his studio).  It’s an offshoot of the official Disney Fan Club and includes a ginormous exhibition center with every imaginable opportunity to buy Disneyana, numerous fan events and celebrity-sighting opps, and then there was today’s centerpiece: a near-three-hour preview of movies in the pipeline from Disney, Pixar and Marvel (which announced a partnership with the company in 2009 that is just now gearing up).

Call it “Mickey Con”. It’s all a bit overwhelming, so no wonder it takes three days just to get through it all. The event continues through the end of Sunday.

After his major presentation of the new Disney slate in the gargantuan arena in front of 4200 seemingly rabid fans (and a few more restrained press members), I caught up with Walt Disney Studios chairman Rich Ross in the Green Room for an exclusive interview in which he talked about the possibilities of a fifth Pirate.s of the Caribbean film as well as his first comments on the demise of  Pirates team Johnny Depp and Jerry Bruckheimer’s about-to-shoot Western The Lone Ranger, which Deadline’s Mike Fleming first reported had been dropped by Disney due to budgetary concerns on the pricey pic. When I asked Ross if there was anything new to report  he said, ”Nothing definitive. There is nothing new. I’m hoping to do it, I’m certainly hoping. I think it’s a compelling story and no one wants to work with Jerry and Johnny more than me, so we’ll see how it works.” And about the possibility of a fifth Pirates? The situation is obviously clouded with the Lone Ranger situation, but again he used the word “hopeful.” Read More »

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